Embroidered patchwork stars

A while ago daughter No 2 made some patchwork stars out of Vietnamese fabric with a baby quilt in mind. That never materialised and the little pile of stars sat in the corner of a drawer. When the possibility of her leaving Vietnam came up she decided she’d like to give a star (with a bit of embroidery, their name and framed) to each of the women she’d been working with. Ever happy to take on a bit of embroidery, I have now finished all 15 stars. When daughter No 2 has decided who is to have which I can embroider the names ready for framing in Vietnam next time she goes.

Embellished patchwork star  (hand embroidered by Mary Addison)

Embellished patchwork star (hand embroidered by Mary Addison)

It turned out to be a very enjoyable exercise. I found each star suggested its own decoration, both colour and stitch, although a few themes leap out when you have them all together.  Laid out in front of me aspects of my far eastern trip come unbidden  – embroidering for 8 hours overnight in Abu Dhabi,  stitching away in various hotels and grabbing a bit of sewing time in between packing up daughter No 2’s apartment in Hanoi when, looking up from the needle, I’m for a moment surprised that my view is out and over a lake and unfamiliar city beyond instead of the softly rounded Chilterns I’m used to. But then we sewers know that bits of fabric and coloured threads can be just as potent catalyst to memory as certain foods or elusive scents.

Embellished patchwork star: detail   (hand embroidered by Mary Addison)

Embellished patchwork star: detail (hand embroidered by Mary Addison)

As I am currently head down and sewing hard on the altar frontal quilt, I thought I’d post each of these little embellished stars every couple of days over the next few weeks. I hope you enjoy them.

Two gold finch have appeared at our bird feeder – a never before seen bird for me and a joy whether at close quarters or caught in sunlight glinting gold darting from tree to tree.

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  1. Posted March 12, 2016 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    Looking good – and best of luck with the altar frontal quilt! Don’t sew your eyes squibbly..!

    • Mary Addison
      Posted March 13, 2016 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      Kind of you to say you like the star embroidery. Thank you.
      Yes, the eyes can be a problem, so lots of exercises. A personal variant of the 20-20-20 rule (every 20 minutes, take a 20 second break to view something 20 feet away) was always helpful when feeling Computer Vision Syndrome coming on whenI sat at a computer for long periods in the library. Eye strain from sewing can be very similar.

  2. Lydia
    Posted March 13, 2016 at 4:57 am | Permalink

    Hello Mary – Welcome Home – here I am again… How lovely are these little stars… very pretty and such a lovely gift. Those gold finches are such stunning birds too.

    • Mary Addison
      Posted March 13, 2016 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      Hello Lydia, good to hear from you again – I suppose you’ve had your time filled up with a combination of grandchildren and the Australian summer. Thank you for commenting again and saying nice things.

      • Lydia
        Posted March 14, 2016 at 7:46 am | Permalink

        Mary, thought you may like to know it is 4OoC today here in Perth….

        • Mary Addison
          Posted March 15, 2016 at 10:02 am | Permalink

          I don’t know how you deal with that – 35 degrees in Vietnam sucked the life out of me!

  3. marge
    Posted March 13, 2016 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Lovely stitching, as usual. I have a similar collection of hand-pieced shapes that have lingered in a tin for years – must try harder.
    In our last garden we had a regular flurry of goldfinches – nyjer seed is what tempts them in, or sunflower hearts, but then you need to remortgage your house to keep up with their appetite. Fabulous sight though – lucky you.

    • Mary Addison
      Posted March 13, 2016 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for you kind comment. But Marge, what about you embroidering your stars, adding names and giving them as unique presents to family and friends whenever birthdays or special celebrations come up? I hate to hear of hand piecing languishing and know how much people enjoy a one off piece of hand work.
      So far the gold finches are happy with whatever bird mix the village shop stocks. Fingers crossed.

      • marge
        Posted March 14, 2016 at 7:58 am | Permalink

        Yes you are quite right Mary, so they are on my long list of Things To Do. Currently, though, priority given to making a new garden in time for this year’s growing season, so we’re taking advantage of this lovely weather – hope you have it too.

        • Mary Addison
          Posted March 15, 2016 at 10:07 am | Permalink

          How exciting to be contemplating a new garden – though of course you’re further on than contemplating. Wonderful – and today is so beautiful and just lovely for being outside doing things. Best of luck and hope the gardening muscles are responding well to your demands.

  4. Posted March 23, 2016 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the 20-20-20 tip. I’ve just started a new project on 28 count linen – just in time for the longer lighter evenings. The embroidered patchwork stars are beautiful.

    • Mary Addison
      Posted March 23, 2016 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      The exercises are a real help when you think your eyes are going crazy, either with hand sewing or computer screens.
      Thank you for saying nice things about the embroidery, Sarah.

  5. Posted March 31, 2016 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    Beautiful star, beautiful embellishment. I am sure the eventual recipients will be very happy with their gifts. X

    • Mary Addison
      Posted March 31, 2016 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

      Hope so – thank you, Penny.

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